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Parshas Terumah - Shlishi with Rashi

Today we learn about the Menorah, and the Yerios (the curtains that cover the Mishkan).

Hashem told Moshe to make a Menorah out of one piece of gold, instead of making each part separately and putting them together. The Menorah should be 18 tefachim high, and have seven branches. The bottom should have three legs.

On each branch of the menorah, there should be decorations — three cups (upside down, like they are pouring out), a ball, and a flower. Where each of the branches meet, there should be another ball. On the middle branch, there should be one extra cup, ball, and flower right under where the branches meet. There should also be a flower right over the bottom of the menorah.

The Yidden should also make seven cups to hold the oil on top of the menorah, and attach them in a way that the flames all shine towards the middle of the menorah.

The tools for the menorah should also be made of gold — tongs to put the wicks in the right place and take them out when the menorah stops burning, and scoops to take out the ashes when the fire is out.

All together, the menorah should weigh 1 kikar of pure gold.

Now Hashem tells Moshe about how to make the Yerios:

There should be three coverings on the Mishkan. These coverings act as a roof, and hang over the walls.

First cover: This should be 10 pieces made of colorful material with pictures of Keruvim that look like lions on one side, and a kind of bird on the other side. The material will have linen, blue, purple, and red threads twisted together.

The Yidden should sew these Yerios into two sets of five pieces. These two sets shouldn’t get sewn together — instead they should attach loops, and then use gold clips to attach them together.

Second cover: This should be 11 pieces made of goat hair. Five of them should be sewn together, and then the other six should be sewn together. Like the other Yerios, they should attach 50 loops to each end and then connect them with gold clips.

This cover will be bigger than the Mishkan, and the extra will hang down in front.

Third cover: The third cover should be only on the roof. It should be made of ram skin dyed red, with tachash skin on top.



145 - 150

Today is the first day of Rosh Chodesh Adar! We say the last five kapitelach of the whole Tehillim!

The first kapitel of today’s Tehillim is very special! It starts with the words “Tehillah LeDovid,” which is the third posuk of Ashrei. It goes in the order of the Alef-Beis — one posuk for each letter except for nun.

Do you know why there is no posuk for the letter nun?



Likutei Amarim Perek Chof-Hey

In Chumash Devarim, we learn about all the things Moshe Rabbeinu told the Yidden before they went into Eretz Yisroel. One thing Moshe said was that the Yidden should say Shema two times a day, so that they will accept that Hashem is in charge (Kabolas Ol Malchus Shomayim), and to be ready to have Mesiras Nefesh for Hashem.

But wait! Didn’t Moshe promise the Yidden that they WOULDN’T need to give up their lives? Moshe told them that everyone would be afraid of the Yidden! So why should they be ready to have Mesiras Nefesh?

Moshe Rabbeinu wanted the Yidden to use their Ahava Mesuteres to serve Hashem! They didn’t need to HAVE Mesiras Nefesh, but they needed to REMEMBER that they would be READY to have Mesiras Nefesh! That would help them stay away from every aveira and stay connected to Hashem always!

This is the end of the explanation that the Alter Rebbe started in Perek Yud-Ches, to teach us the “shortcut” how to make serving Hashem with feeling, very doable for everybody. The first way is thinking about the greatness of Hashem so we will feel a love for Hashem, but not everyone is always able to do that.

Now the Alter Rebbe showed us that every Yid is really ready to do everything for Hashem, even if it means to have Mesiras Nefesh. Knowing that gives us a shorter way to bring out a love for Hashem. We won’t even need to think for a long time to feel that we want to be close to Hashem! We just need to REMIND ourselves that we are Yidden and we’re ready to do whatever it takes to do what Hashem wants.

That’s a much shorter way! Now we can understand why the posuk says “Ki Karov Eilecha HaDavar ME’OD!” To serve Hashem with chayus and dedication is doable for everyone! That’s because every Yid has the koach of Mesiras Nefesh, and we just need to remind ourselves of it to be ready to do the Ratzon of Hashem no matter how hard it may be!



Lamed Shevat

Many Chassidim considered the day that they came to Lubavitch as their birthday.

The Rashbatz* came to his Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, for the first time on Friday, Parshas Mishpatim in Tof-Reish-Ches (5608/1848).

Every year, the Rashbatz would stay up all night on Thursday night of Parshas Mishpatim, his Chassidishe birthday, and put on his Tefillin at the same time he went into Yechidus for the first time!

* The Rashbatz was later the Friediker Rebbe’s teacher. Read the exciting story of how he came to Lubavitch in “Links in the Chassidic Legacy” — http://www.sie.org/85430 The year the Hayom Yom was written, Lamed Shevat was Friday of Parshas Mishpatim.



Mitzvas Asei #60, Lo Saasei #100, #98, Asei #62, Lo Saasei #99

Today we learn five mitzvos that are all talking about what we SHOULD bring and what we CAN’T bring as a korban to Hashem.

1) (Mitzvas Asei #60) The first mitzvah is that a korban has to be a certain age to be a korban. Do you know how old? It has to be at least eight days old (like a baby for his bris)!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Emor: וְהָיָה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים תַּחַת אִמּוֹ וּמִיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי וָהָלְאָה יֵרָצֶה לְקָרְבַּן

The details are explained in Sifra, and in the end of Mesechta Zevachim.

2) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #100) The second mitzvah is not to bring an animal that was used for certain aveiros. Sometimes when people wanted to act in a non-tzniusdike way, they would pay someone else to help them. If someone used an animal to pay for this kind of aveira, it can’t be brought on the Mizbeiach — it’s not kovodik to bring it in front of Hashem.

This mitzvah comes from a posuk in Parshas Ki Seitzei: וּמִיַּד בֶּן נֵכָר לֹא תַקְרִיבוּ

The details of the mitzvah are explained in Perek Vov of Mesechta Temurah.

3) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #98) The third mitzvah is that we are not allowed to bring HONEY or CHOMETZ with a korban. All of the korbanos in the Beis Hamikdash, even the ones with flour cakes, were Kosher L’Pesach (except for one on Shavuos, that we’ll IY”H learn in a different mitzvah)!

We learn this mitzvah from a posuk in Parshas Vayikra, that you might know because we say it in Korbanos every morning! כִּי כָל שְׂאֹר וְכָל דְּבַשׁ לֹא תַקְטִירוּ מִמֶּנּוּ אִשֶּׁה לַה׳

4) (Mitzvas Asei #62) It is a mitzvah to bring salt with every korban. (There was a pile of salt on the ramp of the Mizbeiach for this!)

This mitzvah comes from another posuk in Parshas Vayikra: עַל כָּל קָרְבָּנְךָ תַּקְרִיב מֶלַח

The details of this mitzvah are explained in Sifra, and in a few places in Mesechta Menachos.

5) (Mitzvas Lo Saasei #99) It is a mitzvas Lo Saasei that we are not allowed to bring a korban WITHOUT salt.

We learn this mitzvah from different words in the same posuk from Parshas Vayikra: וְלֹא תַשְׁבִּית מֶלַח בְּרִית אֱלֹקֶיךָ

The details are exsplained in Perek Zayin of Mesechta Zevachim.



Hilchos Isurei Mizbeiach

In today's Rambam, we learn halachos that explain these mitzvos.

Perek Hey: We learn about today’s mitzvah of not bringing a korban with honey or Chometz, and other kinds of things we can’t use for korbanos — like using stolen wood for the fire on the Mizbeiach. We also learn about using salt with the Korban.

Perek Vov: We learn that not only can the ANIMAL not have a mum, but ALL of the things on the Mizbeiach need to be good and not ruined! That means that the wood, the oil, the wine, and all of the other things we use can not be rotten or broken.

Perek Zayin: The Rambam teaches us that it’s not enough just to find an animal without a mum, we need to find the BEST one for Hashem. In fact, ALL of the mitzvos we do for Hashem should be with the best! The shul should look nicer than our house, and we should give poor people from our BEST food and clothes!



Hilchos Temidin Umusafin - Perek Daled

Now we learn about how the kohanim took turns to do the Avodah! They did a lottery called the Payis to decide who would get the zechus of doing the Avodah: The Kohanim would stand around in a circle, and hold out one or two fingers. The person in charge would decide a number, and which kohen to start from. Then he would count the fingers, and when he reached the number he decided, that kohen would get to do the Avodah!



Chassidishe Parsha

In the times of the Mishkan, the Gemara says that the Keruvim were facing each other. That showed the love Hashem and the Yidden had for each other! One of the Keruvim was like Hashem showing us His love, and the second Keruv was like us showing our love back to Hashem!

In the time of Golus, Shlomo Hamelech says that we say to Hashem, “Mi Yitencha Ka’Ach Li?” “Who will be like a (loving) brother to me?” When will Moshiach come when we will be able to see how much Hashem loves us?

(Even at the time of the Beis Hamikdash, the Keruvim weren’t like the way they were in the Mishkan, because the Yidden were on a lower Ruchnius’dik level.)

We need to wait until the third Beis Hamikdash to feel how Hashem loves us in the way we felt it in the Mishkan, when the Keruvim were facing each other. Still, when we learn Torah, it is a way that we can feel Hashem’s love! Whether we’re learning by ourselves or in Yeshiva, all day or just a little bit when we have time, we can feel the love for Hashem a little bit like the way it was able to be felt in the Mishkan all the time.

See Torah Ohr Parshas Terumah


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Borchi Nafshi

On Rosh Chodesh, after the Shir Shel Yom, we say Kapitel Kuf-Daled of Tehillim, which starts with the words Borchi Nafshi Es Hashem — “My neshama bentches Hashem.”

This kapitel speaks about how our neshama praises Hashem for all of the wonders of Creation!

There are two reasons why we say this on Rosh Chodesh. One is because the Zohar says that on every Rosh Chodesh, the nefesh says Borchi Nafshi, so we say it too.

Another reason, from the Avudraham, is that in this perek it speaks about how Hashem made the moon, in order to know when the Yomim Tovim are — which is what Rosh Chodesh is all about!

See Shaar Hakolel p. 41



Learning Your Kapitel on Rosh Chodesh

There is an old minhag that on every Rosh Chodesh, we learn one posuk with Rashi (and other explanations) from your kapitel Tehillim. If your kapitel has less than 12 pesukim (or less than 13 in a leap year), you can learn the same pesukim over again. If your kapitel is long, learn a few pesukim every Rosh Chodesh.

לעילוי נשמת הרה״ח ר׳ דניאל יצחק ע״ה בן ר׳ אפרים שי׳ מאסקאוויץ
שליח כ"ק אדמו"ר נשיא דורנו למדינת אילינוי



The Purpose of the Menorah

When we learn the parshios in the Torah about the Mishkan, we also add in learning from Torah Shebaal Peh about these things. The Rebbe says that this helps bring Moshiach faster!

Today we are learning about the Menorah. The Gemara discusses, what was the purpose of the menorah?

Was it needed for its light? The Yidden had a pillar of fire that guided them through the Midbar! They didn’t need any other light.

The Gemara says that it was for a different reason: It was a sign for the world that Hashem was together with the Yidden. One of the flames of the menorah, the Ner Maaravi, stayed burning for much longer than it should — every day! (This happened until after Shimon Hatzadik passed away.)

Another reason for the light of menorah is so it can shine to the rest of the world. We see this from the way the windows in the Beis Hamikdash were made. They were smaller inside, but wider outside — “Shkufim Atumim.” The windows didn’t bring light into the Beis Hamikdash, like most windows, but they shined the light of the Beis Hamikdash to the whole world!

See Gemara Shabbos 22b

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